ON THE MOTION OF PENDULUMS.
rolling down the highest generating line of an inclined cylinder may be said to be unstable. But besides the instability, it may not be safe in such an extreme case to neglect the terms depending on the square of the velocity, not that they become unusually large in themselves, but only unusually large compared with the terms retained, because when the relative motions of neighbouring portions of the fluid become very small, the tangential pressures which arise from friction become very small likewise.
Now the general character of the motion must be nearly the same whether the velocity of the cylinder be constant, or vary slowly with the time, so that it does not vary materially when the cylinder passes through a space equal to a small multiple of its radius. To return to the problem considered in Section III., it would seem that when the radius of the cylinder is very small, the motion which would be expressed by the formulas of that Section would be unstable. This might very well be the case with the fine wires used in supporting the spheres employed in pendulum experiments. If so, the quantity of fluid carried by the wire would be diminished, portions being continually left behind and forming eddies. The resistance to the wire would on the whole be increased, and would moreover approximate to a resistance which would be a function of the velocity. Hence, so far as depends on the wire, the arc of oscillation would be more affected by the resistance of the air than would follow from the formulas of Section III. Whether the effect on the time of oscillation would be greater or less than that expressed by the formulae is difficult to say, because the increase of resistance would tend to increase the effect on the time of vibration, while on the other hand the approximation of the law of resistance to that of a function of the velocity would tend to diminish it.
On the effect of internal friction in causing the motion of a fluid to subside. Application to the case of oscillatory waves.
49. We have already had instances of the effect of friction in causing a gradual subsidence in the motion of a solid oscillating in a fluid; but a result may easily be obtained from the equations of